A fan of Zakaria on TV and Newsweek, I really expected to like this book, and I wasn't disappointed for the most part.
Offers a cultural and historical perspective on China and India and how they now relate to the world and the US in particular. I was surprised by a section in the middle seemingly designed to boost up wussy American sensibilities and self esteem(the stats that say Americans graduate less engineers than India are wrong! The US is still great at x and y!). But Zakaria moves forward, giving us an interesting comparison to the actions of the US super power of today and how the former super power Imperial Britain lost that rank. The book ends with suggestions on how the US can stop its often hypocritical and dictating foreign policies and perhaps try to stop alienating friendly foreigners and immigrants alike. They are sensible and often boil down to "listen and respect others."
I wonder how he might update his discussions on the world economies after the current economic collapse. He alludes to some potential problems, which of course are more obvious to me given the benefit of hindsight.
I also liked the author's narration.
This is a clear and insightful exploration of world politics and economics now, in historical perspective, and well into the future. Several friends thought that this was a US bashing book written by an Islamic sympathizer... which goes to show that you can't judge a book by it's cover! If anything, it is a celebration of the American dream, while offering an understanding of what the future holds for us. A realistic observation by a talented and knowledgeable author. A compelling read (listen)!
I am a few chapters into this book and I am already enjoying it a lot . The book is about the rise in political and economic influence of countries other than the US. It not about the decline of the US's influence, but more about how other countries are approaching a time of equal footing with the US. What I have read so far challenges the mainstream perspective of the world's economy and political stability. He does it in a writing style that is clear, simple, and enjoyable to read.
I am a documentary film producer from Los Angeles.
I rarely enjoy a book as much as I did this one. Zacharia’s reason and writing skill are superb, and the research done is also remarkable. Few authors can lay an argument and stay with it with such clarity throughout hundreds of pages. The only other one that comes to mind is Niall Ferguson.
While reasserting his work, I came across Ferguson’s latest documentary, “The World Without US”, an investigative piece of journalism that debates what would happen shout the US withdraw its military from around the world. I would also recommend it for anyone interested in the future of world affairs.
This book is superb. I found myself fascinated, even though the subject has never been an interest of mine. The author covers the past 25 years of international economic and political change in a way that fills in the blanks and helps make the subject totally accessible. I strongly recommend this book. Every American should read it, especially anyone struggling to come to grips with the challenges we face in the world today. The author has a wonderful reading voice and the production of the piece is extremely good. HIghest recommendation.
At first I thought it was a bad idea to have the author read the book, but he settles into it quickly. I think he should have re-read the first chapter, after he finished, he sounds much more comfortable after chapter one.
This is what Political books should be like.
There is no real bias. He states observations, and looks at past and present cultures to give you an idea of where we may be going.
I lot to think about.
I have listened to it twice, and will keep it on my iPod. I found a lot more on the second listen.
if you like this book, get America Alone (it's a good balance to this book. these two books are Like listening to two people debate.). And get The Tower of Babble.
Zakaria obviously loves the U.S. This is not an anti american book. I served a long time in the military and I really appreaciate his insights. Great book a must read.
Yes. This is BRILLIANT in the way it presents an "uncomfortable truth" of our time for Americans. But whether you are politically conservative, moderate or liberal-- you will need to listen to the entire book with an open mind. The title of this book is intentionally misleading-- to provoke a response. Dont make the mistake of thinking this book is anti-US or anti-anything. The author is telling it like it is and arguing that America is uniquely positioned to lead in a different way because of a different world reality.
Generally speaking, Americans need to shift their minset to understand and appreciate what is happening--and recognize this is not a "zero-sum game." This is no longer "America's world" where we can unilaterally set the rules and assume everyone will do it "America's way." The landscape and balance of power has changed. And America can either understand that and deal with reality--or be frustrated in a state of denial, repeating some of the worst mistakes of the British Empire. There are so many critical lessons from history that can and should inform the way we view this nation's unique opportunities and challenges right NOW-- to take into account the fundamental truth that all people want the freedom to define themselves within their own cultures, governments and societies.
The author uses compelling examples from the history of past dominant world powers to illustrate exactly what the challenges and opportunities are for the United States today.
At first I felt inclined to dismiss this book as US-bashing based on biased thinking. However, as I listened more and thought about what the message of this book really is, I found most of the content to be persuasive and extremely enlightening. This should be required reading by every forward-thinking American.